INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Bridging the gap between
business and IT
David Jacobs (right), Director of Profit from
Information Ltd. of Weybridge, explains
how business and IT can be brought into
alignment on business objectives
 
realisation are in place. The Guidelines are applied round a core structure called Layers of Focus, designed to increase business emphasis for IT -related activities. In all, Profit aims to strengthen the combined force of a business unit's Business, Information, Creativity, Effort, People and Software - in fact its BICEPS!
When the approach was applied to a telecommunications billing systems project the company's IT management reported "no technical problems" which was "unheard of in that environment". The business management called the approach "a breath of fresh air" and stated that their requirements had been "perfectly understood".
As an introduction to its approach, Profit offers a free presentation recently given to specialist groups of the British Computer Society entitled 'Delivering maximum business value from information systems'. For more information contact David Jacobs on 01932 248027.
GETTING THE BEST from computer systems has never been easy. In fact, with the time and energy it takes to keep up with changing expectations, gaining clear business benefits from Information Technology has become one of the biggest challenges for today's company managers. Furthermore, as it's not always easy to measure the success of an information systems project and IT professionals often speak a different language, gaining better results can be persistently elusive despite continual advances in technology.
Surrey-based company Profit from Information aims to address this by helping companies maximise levels of business value and benefits gained from using IT. It reviews information systems and related business projects and makes recommendations as to how value and benefit levels could be improved.
It will then assist in implementing plans to make improvements and help to assess results before embarking on a further round of improvements. This diagnosis and cure is helped by a 'template' called 'The Profit Business Value Approach' developed by director David
Jacobs over many years of bridging the gap between business and IT in former careers in marketing information and computer analysis.
Business Value Improvement Plan
The Profit service has two modes. The first is ad hoc, troubleshooting where the problems are fairly clear. However, when they are less clear, Profit uses its Business Value Improvement Programme, a structured set of steps derived from its Business Value Approach. This helps to investigate problems systematically and formulate plans for longer- term improvements. These improvements are implemented using a set of Effectiveness Guidelines, developed for bringing business and IT into greater alignment on business objectives. Generally the Profit solution centres on improving understanding between the business and IT, particularly focusing on supporting the business and user community's point of view. Once such a foundation has been established the Effectiveness Guidelines are employed to ensure that the principles of value and benefits

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